Chicago Warriors: Reverend Dean

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I don't even remember driving to the hospital, except that it took forever. I ran into the ER hoping to see Grossman taking care of Joe, but that was not the case. I quickly spotted one of the nurses that Joe and I had become familiar with having brought so many shooting victims here.

"Chandra, where's Dr. Grossman?"
"He's off today Pete."

"No... Joe needs him. If anyone can fix him, Jeff can do it."

"C'mon Pete, you know that all of our ER docs are the best. Joe is in good hands with any one of them. They have a team working on him now."

Just then, Rev. Dean walked into the ER. Dean was the Police Chaplain. I had known Dean for several years now; he was a compassionate, kind man that had a knack for comforting people when they needed it most. The Chaplain prowls the streets, ear tuned to the police radio ready to respond to offer support for cops and victims when they are in the throes of crises.


"Pete, how's Joe doing, and are you okay?"
"Dean...I don't know. I think he's in bad shape. He was losing it when we were at the scene, he took a round right above the vest at the arm hole." Those types of gunshots are the worst; you don't know what kind of damage they will do inside the body cavity.

While Dean and I talked, a parade of people began to show up at Little Company: the WC, the Chief of Patrol, the Chief of Detectives accompanied by Detectives Joe Miller and Bob Lett, the two dicks who had briefed us earlier and of course the ubiquitous news media.

The two Chiefs and the WC walked over to Dean and me.
"Officer Shannon, I'm Bob Downey, Chief of Patrol, this is Chief Collins from Homicide. I know that this is a bad time, but we need to get some information on exactly what happened. I will tell you that preliminarily, based on the witness Blaz's statements, the shooting appears to be a justifiable homicide."

"Chief, no disrespect meant here, but right now my partner is in there fighting for his life with a bullet inside of him. I don't know that I really care about anything else but what happens to him."

"Officer Shannon..."

At that moment, Mac walked through the door with Joe's wife, Susan. She was pale and unsteady and was quickly swallowed up by a mob of TV reporters and cameras. Mac spotted me through the sea of pariahs and worked his way towards us.

Through her tears Susan said, "Pete, Oh God Pete what happened? How is Joe? How could this happen...?"
The mob of news people surrounded us.
"Officer Shannon, tell us what happened..."

"Is this the wounded officer's wife...?"

"Who was the man that was shot over by the tracks...?"
The horde of reporters pressed in, suffocating us, backing us into a corner, unrelenting in their quest for answers. Seeing what was happening, Rev Dean deftly pierced his way into the amoeba of people, guiding Susan and me to the Chaplains office.

"We'll be safe here Pete, it's off limits to the press. Susan, I'm Reverend Dean, the Police Chaplain. I've know your husband and Pete for several years. I don't know much of what has happened this evening, except that Joe needs our prayers at this moment. If you will agree, I would like us to say a prayer before we do anything further."

"Yes Reverend, please, I need Him now more than ever."
The Reverend began... "Dear Father in Heaven, we humbly come before you, asking that you hear our prayers offered up for your son Joseph. He was struck down as he toiled to save others in your name, working as a warrior sworn to defeat Satan and his evil influence on those that are weak in spirit. We pray that you will have mercy on Joseph and heal him. Father we know that if it is your will, our brave brother Joseph will fully recover and resume his position as your warrior here on earth. In Jesus' name we pray...Amen."


"Pete what happened out there? Did you see him after the shooting?"

"Susan, it all happened so quickly...we had planned on taking this guy in the morning on a warrant with an arrest team, but we were forced to confront him tonight to save a life."

I went on to explain in full detail to her what had transpired. When I had finished Mac walked in.
"Just so you know, Shirley is over at your house now Susan so that your neighbor can go to work. Don't worry about the boys; she will stay there for as long as you need her."

"Thank you Mac, you are a blessing."
I looked at my friend, "Mac I don't know..."
"Pete stop, you don't need to explain anything right now. Our focus is on Joe's situation-nothing else. I know you did your best son, you always have. Get any negative thoughts that you may have out of your head, you and Joe are two of the finest cops that I have ever had the pleasure of supervising."

"Thanks Mac."

Turning to speak with Susan, I was interrupted by the door opening...

"Mrs. O'Hara, I'm Dr. Herrara. Joe sustained a gunshot just under the armpit on his right side. It was high enough, and the trajectory of the bullet was such that it severed the subclavian artery. The EMTs were unaware of the internal bleeding, and by the time your husband arrived he had sustained a massive amount of blood loss. When we got Joe on the table we tried to stabilize him, but he was going into shock. We performed an emergency invasive procedure to locate the source of the bleeding, and Joe's blood pressure dropped so low that he suffered a heart attack."

"So is he going to be alright doctor, did you stop the bleeding?"

"Mrs. O'Hara, I'm sorry to tell you this, but we couldn't save him."

Falling onto the floor, Susan wept uncontrollably. "No, no, no...please God no...don't take him...we need him...the boys..."

I couldn't control my tears and got on the floor and held Susan tightly as her body writhed in emotional pain. I asked God why, I asked Him how, and I felt that Satan had won a battle this night.

Next: NO Greater Love

Previous:  10-1 Officer Needs Help

John Wills spent 2 years in the U.S. Army before serving 12 years with the Chicago Police Department (CPD). He left the CPD to become an FBI Special Agent, working organized crime, violent crime, and drugs.  John Wills is an author of Chicago Warriors: Midnight Battles in the Windy City published by

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